IBM Spinoff Should Rejuvenate Cloud Effort

Finally. On October 9th, IBM announced that it will split itself up by breaking up the company into two pieces, spinning off its legacy IT services businesses to focus on cloud. IBM shares rose about 6% on the news the first day, thought they have pulled back to be close to where they were when the deal was announced.

The change is sorely needed — IBM CEO Arvind Krishna is wise to pursue the strategy as the company needs some sort of catalyst to drive growth in the era of the cloud explosion. This deal should put IBM in a better position to compete with other cloud titans such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft Azure by putting more focus on its prized Red Hat unit. It should also enable IBM to compete more strongly against other large tech conglomerates pursuing cloud, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)

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The Effort to Build the Mathematical Library of the Future

“In one crazy weekend I spent 12 hours a day [on it],” she said. “It was totally addictive.”

Other mathematicians talk about the experience the same way. They say working in Lean feels like playing a video game—complete with the same reward-based neurochemical rush that makes it hard to put the controller down. “You can do 14 hours a day in it and not get tired and feel kind of high the whole day,” Livingston said. “You’re constantly getting positive reinforcement.”

As Sébastien Gouëzel worked on defining a “smooth manifold” for mathlib, he had to balance specificity with flexibility.Courtesy of Sebastian Gouezel

Still, the Lean community recognizes that for many mathematicians, there just aren’t enough levels to play.

“If you were to quantify how much of mathematics is formalized, I’d say it’s way less than one-thousandth of one percent,” said Christian Szegedy, an engineer at Google who is working

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Google Makes Concessions in Effort to Buy Fitbit

EU officials said in August that Google’s initial pledge to refrain from using Fitbit data for advertising purposes was insufficient.



Photo:

filip singer/Shutterstock

BRUSSELS—Google’s plan to buy health-tracker

Fitbit

is inching toward approval in Europe after the U.S. tech company made new concessions to competitors using its Android system for mobile devices.

European Union officials in August launched an in-depth probe into the

Alphabet Inc.


GOOG 0.02%

unit’s acquisition plans, saying that Google’s initial pledge to refrain from using Fitbit data for advertising purposes was insufficient. The $2.1 billion deal is also under review by the U.S. Justice Department and by Australia’s competition authority.

The review of the Fitbit deal comes as Google and other U.S.-based tech companies face intense scrutiny in both the EU and the U.S. for allegedly anticompetitive practices. Some tech critics also say tech companies have used acquisitions to eliminate

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Epic’s Effort To Rally ‘Fortnite’ Fans Against Apple Has Not Really Panned Out

There were two prongs in Epic’s decision to pick a direct fight with Apple by bypassing iOS app store payments which caused Fortnite to be kicked off the market, frozen in time, unable to be updated with new patches and seasons of content. The first was legal, as Epic was prepared for that response and is now taking Apple to court over the 30% cut and the banning of apps like Fortnite that don’t follow that.

The second was a public-facing campaign where they branded this new crusade #FreeFortnite, letting fans print their own merch, and airing an ad mocking the Apple’s own 1984 commercial implying they were now the oppressive overlords they once fought against. There’s even an anti-Apple in-game skin, the Tart Tycoon.

The legal challenge is obviously the most important part of this, and it seems like each week the case takes some new twist

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Columbia leads effort to develop a quantum simulator

Columbia leads effort to develop a quantum simulator
Columbia is one of 11 institutions nationwide to receive a Phase One National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator award for quantum technology. The program is designed to foster multidisciplinary, cross-sector research in emerging areas of critical societal importance. Credit: NSF

Quantum technologies—simulators and computers specifically—have the potential to revolutionize the 21st century, from improved national defense systems to drug discovery to more powerful sensors and communication networks.


But the field still needs to make major advances before quantum computing can surpass existing tools to process information and live up to its promise.

A multidisciplinary research team led by Columbia University is in a position to bring quantum technology out of the lab into real-world applications.

The team has received a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence Accelerator award to build a quantum simulator, a device that can solve problems that are difficult to simulate on classical computers. The project includes

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Closing the Technology Opportunity Gap Takes Coordinated Effort

Top view close up of multi-ethnic group of people working together at cluttered wooden table with coffee cups, mugs and stationary items.


PHOTO:
Shutterstock

The tech industry’s diversity problem is well documented, particularly among the giants.

Take Facebook, for example. From 2013 to 2018, its US employee base grew more than six times to 27,705, but by fewer than 1,000 Black people according to a USA Today analysis. In that five-year span, 3.7% of Facebook’s employees were black, up from 1%. And of course, Facebook’s not alone.

Many see that the problem goes beyond the hiring practices of tech giants. According to an Amazon-commissioned survey published this month, the most significant cause of concern is the gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities in underserved communities where Black and brown children live in higher numbers.

And it’s widening, they say. 

Some nonprofit organizations have taken on the challenge to ensure young people from underrepresented communities and backgrounds are ready to enter college, and then the workforce, equipped with technology skills

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